You don't have to be smart to kill
by Robert A. Waters
In the early morning of August 24, 2011, two employees at the Sixth Avenue Krystal restaurant in Decatur, Alabama were murdered. Night manager Jeffrey Mark Graff, 50, and employee Jessie Jose Aguilar, 23, were found by another employee when she reported to work. The safe had been robbed, and the victims shot dead in the store cooler.
Three suspects allegedly confessed to the murders. Two were employees of the restaurant, Jordaan Creque and Cassandra Eldred. The third was Ezekiel “EZ” Gholston.
According to news accounts and police reports, the three drove to the drive-through window where Creque asked Graff if he could come inside and use the telephone. The restaurant was closed from midnight to six and customers could only order from the window, but since Creque was a co-worker, Graff complied. As soon as the door opened, Creque and Gholston rushed inside. Holding a gun on the employees, Creque ordered the manager to open the safe while Eldred, driving the get-away car, allegedly waited outside.
After taking the money, the robbers herded Graff and Aguilar into the cooler where they were executed.
A police spokesman told reporters that the trio admitted to ditching the weapon, a nine-millimeter handgun, in Wilson Morgan Lake. Following instructions from the suspects, it was recovered by investigators. Decatur Police Sgt. Rick Archer told reporters: “It was the gun we were looking for. It was where we were looking and where we thought it would be. But we’re not ready to say it was the one used in the Krystal shooting until it comes back from ballistics.”
Shortly after the robbery, Creque checked himself into Decatur General Hospital. He had light cuts on his arms and chest and told medical personnel he’d been forced to participate in a robbery and murder at Krystal. Police quickly arrived and found that the superficial cuts required “little or no treatment.” Investigators alleged that Creque later admitted the wounds were self-inflicted and that he’d cut himself in an attempt to throw police off the track. Detectives said he admitted that he was the triggerman and implicated his two cohorts.
Police found a large sum of money at Creque and Gholston’s homes. Cops said Eldred also admitted that Creque gave her $200 to act as the driver.
Graff, originally from Minnesota, had lived in Alabama for many years. He had helped build the Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison that he and his wife, Lois, attended. He was remembered as a loving husband, restaurant employee and owner, and handyman. He also kept the church organs in tune.
Jessie Aguilar had a fiancé and two daughters. Friends said he loved to hunt, camp, and fish.
It's obvious that the three suspects aren’t master criminals. In fact, it’s difficult to understand how even the dimmest bulb could have thought they could get away with such a plan. But you don’t have to be a genius to leave bodies lying around.
This is the kind of crime the death penalty is made for. If Jordaan Creque, EZ Gholston, and Cassandra Eldred are proven guilty in a court of law, I hope they're all executed.